If you have been involved in a car accident due to bad weather you may be wondering how this will affect your insurance claim. This article will discuss whether insurance companies are lenient on bad weather car accidents.
When considering whether or not insurance companies are lenient with an accident caused by bad weather, the reality is it depends on the circumstances surrounding the accident. In order to fully understand how the law is applied to car accidents in bad weather it is important to remember that liability for a car accident is based on negligence and that the weather is just another factor for the insurer and a jury to consider in determining whether a driver was negligent.
By definition negligence is “a failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the circumstances. The behavior usually consists of actions but can also consist of omissions when there in some duty to act. Therefore, put simply negligence means not exercising the amount of reasonable care that a situation calls for. In addition, negligence is based on what lawyers call the ‘reasonable person’ standard; which is if a reasonable person acted in a certain way then your failure to do that would be negligence. Conversely, if a reasonable person would not act in a certain way then your acting in that way would be negligent. When determining an individual’s negligence a jury and an insurance company examines all the circumstances relating to the individual’s actions.
With regard to bad weather conditions and negligence it must be noted that the weather in itself is one of the factors that helps to determine whether a driver was negligent. Other factors may include the driver’s speed, the conditions of the road, visibility and whether either driver was distracted or intoxicated. For example, if it is raining lightly, but neither visibility nor the road conditions are affected then the weather may not be an issue. However, if there is extremely bad weather conditions then a reasonable driver would need to adjust his or her driving in order to take such bad weather into account. The reasonable driver may decide to slow down and increase their following distance. This is the concern of insurers and the jury. Therefore, when the insurance adjuster evaluates a car accident claim that is a result of bad weather the adjuster determines if the drivers were driving reasonably for the weather conditions. If the adjuster decides that its insured driver was driving too fast for the weather conditions, the adjuster will pay compensation for the claim even if the defendant was driving below the speed limit. The reason for this is that the key in bad weather claims is whether the drivers were driving reasonably for the conditions. The opposite is true if the defendant was driving reasonably for the conditions; in such cases the insurer may fight liability on the grounds that its insured was not negligent.
For legal advice and representation in a personal injury claim or lawsuit contact the best Anchorage attorney.